“Follow me, Peter.”
“Cast your net one more time.”
All Jesus had to do was ask it once, to instruct him once and Peter was the first to shoot his hand up. “Choose me, Lord! I want to do Your will. Let me, Jesus!”
His heart was for Christ, and his passion for the word of Christ reiterates this truth. Peter wanted to serve Jesus, he wanted to find favor in His sight. His zeal is unparalleled, his intentions honest.
But before we exalt Peter to a lofty position, I also want to remind us that in his passion, Peter was also a human. He was a fallen being in desperate need of Christ’s redemptive love and grace.
When Christ called Peter out onto the water, a storm was raging and the other disciples were certain Jesus was an apparition. The waves were chopping, and the wind was gusting mercilessly. But all it took was a call from Jesus for Peter to leave the boat and come.
He was zealous to please God, so much so that he didn’t always consider the cost. In Luke 14:28, Jesus offers wisdom to the disciples saying “For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?”
For those of us who share Peter’s passion, we can take what Jesus has told us and focus more on what He has said than Who was saying it. When Peter’s focus shifted from the Builder to the building, the Creator the creation, he sank beneath the waves. Jesus rebuked him saying “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matt. 14:31)
Sometimes we can be so blinded by our passion that we actually lose sight of God amongst the chaos. We begin to notice the white-caps, and the fear we thought we had under control resurfaces in a potent way.
And Jesus asks us like He asked Peter, “Why did you doubt?”
Jesus didn’t ask “Why did you get out of the boat?” No, He loves when our hearts are desperate to do His will, He loves when we are eager to live for Him. I believe Jesus smiles when we continue to choose Him day after day, even when circumstances are unfavorable.
But today I want to remind us to keep our focus on Christ. Peter was a passionate man, a soul excited to serve God, but he fell when his zeal for what God had said overrode His passion for God Himself. In the devotional Jesus Calling, the first sentence of March 8th reads “Save your best striving for seeking My face.”
That’s what we should strive for. Jesus. We must seek Him, not our calling, above all else! He is where our eyes should be, where our ears should be tuned to.
The way God spoke to me about this passage of Scripture was with the story of Martha and Mary. Martha and Mary were obviously both eager to learn from Christ, but Mary chose to sit at His feet while Martha was consumed by her workload. Both of their hearts were right, but zeal can be dangerous when we allow it to determine our steps more than Jesus.